A severe medical condition can prevent you from working, but it can also stop you from living the life you once had. After a diagnosis, sudden onset of symptoms, or other unexpected events, people often rely on the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide them with the monthly payments they need to pay the bills and support their families.
The Social Security disability (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI) programs were created to provide disability benefits to those who need them most. As a result, applicants must provide extensive documentation of their conditions, and even then, many first-time applications are denied.
At Disability Services of America, we help people with disabilities get the payments they need to survive and only collect a fee for our services once your benefits have been approved.
Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Both federal disability programs provide monthly cash benefits to people whose severe medical impairments will last at least one year. Neither SSDI nor SSI pays for partial or short-term disability.
To get disability benefits, you must have:
- No current full-time work. If you are working in a job earning more than Substantial Gainful Activity ($1,470/month), then SSA will state you are not disabled.
- Paid into Social Security. You need to have a job history of paying Social Security taxes, called the duration of work test. The number of years you must have worked increases based on age, but all applicants must have paid into Social Security for at least 1.5 years.
- A severe medical condition. The SSA has a list of qualifying disabilities, as well as a list of symptoms and limitations for conditions that are not on the list. You will be expected to provide medical evidence to the SSA showing the severity and duration of your condition.
- A total inability to work. You will only be eligible for SSI and/or SSDI if your medical condition prevents you from doing your old job or any other work for at least one year. The agency will consider your work history, age, education, and job skills to decide whether you could work in a different career to accommodate your condition.
The Disability Application Process
Application processing for SSDI benefits can take up to six (6) months, so it’s best to apply for them as soon as you become aware of your disability. We know how burdensome and complicated the application and appeals process can be, so we help you every step of the way by:
- Filling out forms. We assist you in completing the complex disability forms, including detailed summaries of your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work. To prevent delays, we ensure all information is complete and accurate before submitting your application or appeal.
- Proving the extent of your disability. You will need medical records to establish that your condition meets the SSA’s definition of disability. We can advise you on how to get the documents you need to submit with your application, such as lab test results from your doctors, medical records from surgeons, or mental health notes from counselors and caseworkers.
- Gathering wage and income documentation. We compile various documents to show the SSA how much you used to earn and when you last worked, such as your most recent W-2 Form or your last federal tax return. If you’re applying for SSI, we can help you itemize your assets and resources for proof of need.
- Advocating for you. We can attend your administrative hearing, submit hearing briefs, and support you throughout the ongoing appeals process until we secure your benefits.
Let Us Help You Get the Benefits You Deserve
If you cannot earn a living due to a disability, we can determine your eligibility for SSDI or SSI, appeal a denied application, and help you earn income without losing your monthly benefits. As an SSA-approved employment network, we only collect payment for our services after your application is approved. Please fill out our online contact form or call (888) 689-6760 to learn more.